Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What des Mrs. Snagsby suspect about Jo?

2. Although Mr. George has a sample of handwriting sought by Smallweed, ___________.

3. Mr. Jarndyce's small room off his bedroom is called ___________.

4. Young Ada tells Esther she wants to marry ___________.

5. Esther Summerson is raised by ___________.

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the relationship between Esther Summerson and Miss Barbary?

2. What is the significance of the "beadle" arriving at Nemo's death scene if any? What is the beadle?

3. What purpose does it serve having Lady Dedlock take a shine to the lovely new maid, Rosa?

4. What is discovered at Krook's that may change the course of the Jarndyce suit, and how does it affect the main characters?

5. Discuss Krook's strange death. What is spontaneous combustion?

6. Discuss the fact that Dickens' culprit turns out to be Mademoiselle Hortense. Why did he not choose a different character?

7. Mr. Turveydrop, the elder, is a most unusual person. What exactly is his mental condition? Is he a healthy person? Is Dickens being facetious?

8. Richard Carstone has a strange way of seeing money. How does Esther illustrate his propensity to rationalize his spending?

9. What is Lady Dedlock's favorite way to hide? Why does she die?

10. Describe the relationship between the married Dedlocks, Sir Leicester, and Lady Dedlock.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Jarndyce v. Jarndyce comes to an end, just as Esther's adult life begins to take form. In its wake, the lawsuit has swept away many people, and the plot of the story has been cleaned up and tied up. What is Dickens trying to say, with Esther now being a happy woman, the misunderstandings smoothed out, Miss Flite's birds being free, and other semi-happy endings offered in Bleak House?

Essay Topic 2

The Rouncewell family is in the iron business, Mr. Rouncewell being an "ironmaster." Research industrial progress in England in the 1850s, what had been accomplished by that time, and what was in the works. How did industry affect the country, in general, at that time?

Essay Topic 3

The issue of suicide is raised several times in Bleak House. Dickens makes it seem almost a common topic of discussion, if not a common occurrence. Try to find some research that sheds light on the suicide rate in England during the 1800s, and see if you can draw any parallels with the economic condition of the country at that time.

(see the answer keys)

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